Peppermint Meltaways

I was looking for goodies to make with the kids at Christmas, and I love peppermint, so these sounded good.

Peppermint Meltaways

We were making these for friends as well as ourselves, so we made them exactly according to the recipe.

My first thought was that the dough was too dry … one of the kids even said, “It needs something wet – add some water!”

Well, I didn’t do that, but I looked online a little, thinking maybe the recipe was wrong and it was missing an egg or something. The only “wet” thing in it was softened butter, and the dough just seemed too crumbly.

Anyway, I put it into the fridge for about an hour before using a scoop to form the little balls.

Into the oven they went …

peppermint meltaways… and out.  They came out alright, although I’m not liking the way most of them spread along the edges.  I made the last few (bottom of the photo) with my hands rather than with the scoop, and I like how they turned out better.

Why did they spread? Thanks to the internet, I can tell you that cookies spread when:


  • Dough was not properly chilled.
  • Pure cane sugar (sucrose) was not used; fructose sugar or a blend of sugars was substituted.
  • Baking pans were greased too much. Don’t grease the cookie sheet unless the recipe calls for it.
  • Dough was placed on warm baking sheets.
  • Used a low-fat margarine, diet spread, or vegetable-oil spread instead of butter or shortening. Never use a low-fat spread with 60% or less fat. Low-fat spreads have a higher moisture content and will make cookie dough very soft.
  • Butter makes cookies spread if the dough is too soft before baking.Not having the butter at the right consistency when making the dough. The dough should be soft enough to allow you to poke an indentation with your finger, but the indentation shouldn’t stay.If using 100% butter, start with CHILLED butter right from the refrigerator versus room temperature butter. Cut butter into 1-inch cubes and chill again before using in your recipe.Substitute shortening instead of butter, as butter melts faster than solid shortening. Even 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening will melt more slowly than using butter only.




I have to say, after all that, that I don’t think I did any of those things, though. Actually I think if I made the cookies again I’d melt the butter more since they were so hard to mix/dry, but according to this, using butter that is too soft will cause them to spread in the oven. Dilemmas, dilemmas!

peppermint meltaways

After cooling on a cut-open grocery bag, we drizzled them with glaze and added crushed candy canes. You may be wondering, why orange glaze on peppermint cookies? Well, I asked a daughter for the red food coloring, and after adding it discovered she had handed me yellow. I guess you know what yellow and red make!

I’m not sure if I’ll make them again as I wasn’t happy with how the dough came together, but they were good and we enjoyed them.


6 thoughts on “Peppermint Meltaways

  1. I think the Peppermint Meltaways look neat. I didn’t know you loved peppermint. I am not a fan of peppermint. I tolerate it but it is not high on my good list.

  2. I’ve had problems with cookies spreading, too. I truly do not enjoy baking cookies – I think it’s because it’s so hard to get them perfect. 🙁

    And I wouldn’t say I’m a more competent cook than – I probably just eat more screw-ups! 😉

  3. I also am not a fan of peppermint and am sure I wouldn’t spend money to make cookies using that ingredient. Give me chocolate any day!

  4. I applaud you for making homemade goodies with your 3 daughters! You are such a good mother…really!! As for me I almost never make any kind of cookie anymore, especially after being diagnosed as a diabetic. However, I do eat an occasional cookie or two, but not real often. And I do love peppermint flavor as in peppermint bark (made with white chocolate and quite yummy!) and peppermint ice cream. I always do my best to have the ice cream around the house at holiday time, and I find that it is really great when served with double chocolate fudge cake.

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